Champions Liverpool to take on Leeds in Premier League opener

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Liverpool will face an early test of their Premier League title defence credentials with a tricky start to the 2020-21 season, but they do not go up against bitter rivals Manchester United until January.

The Reds ended a 30-year wait for top-flight success last season, and although the coronavirus pandemic meant there was an eerie feel to their celebrations in an empty Anfield, the end of their long drought was no less significant on Merseyside.

Given they finished 18 points clear, Jurgen Klopp's men will undoubtedly be favourites again, but they will have to hit the ground running – Liverpool face newly-promoted Leeds United in their first fixture on September 12, which will be followed by clashes with Chelsea and Arenal in consecutive games.

The champions go to local rivals Everton on October 17, before then being hosted by Pep Guardiola's City – their likeliest challengers – on November 7. All of these fixtures take place within the first two months of the season.

Liverpool's meeting with United on January 16 comes as part of a potentially nasty spell for the Red Devils. On December 12 they will contest the first Manchester derby of the season at Old Trafford, and seven days later host Leeds United, resuming a ferocious rivalry that has been on hold in recent years.

The second Manchester derby is set for March 6, while Liverpool host Everton again on February 20.

The north London derby will be played at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on December 5, before the reverse fixture on March 13 at Emirates Stadium.

Of the so-called 'big six', Chelsea look set for the trickiest run-in of all as they face City, Arsenal and Leicester in three of their final four matches.

Leicester also go up against Spurs late on, meaning Brendan Rodgers' side could have a telling impact on the final standings near the top of the table.

Premier League 2020-21 key fixtures:

September 19 - Chelsea v Liverpool
September 26 - Liverpool v Arsenal
October 3 - Manchester United v Tottenham Hotspur
October 17 - Everton v Liverpool
October 17 - Manchester City v Arsenal
October 24 - Manchester United v Chelsea
October 31 - Manchester United v Arsenal
November 7 - Manchester City v Liverpool
November 21 - Tottenham v Manchester City
November 28 - Chelsea v Tottenham
December 5 - Tottenham v Arsenal
December 12 - Manchester United v Manchester City
December 19 - Manchester United v Leeds United
December 26 - Arsenal v Chelsea
January 16 - Liverpool v Manchester United
January 30 - Arsenal v Manchester United
February 3 - Tottenham v Chelsea
February 20 - Liverpool v Everton
February 27 - Chelsea v Manchester United
March 6 - Manchester City v Manchester United
March 13 - Arsenal v Tottenham
April 24 - Leeds United v Manchester United
May 1 - Manchester United v Liverpool
May 8 - Manchester City v Chelsea
May 12 - Chelsea v Arsenal
May 15 - Chelsea v Leicester City
May 23 - Leicester City v Tottenham

Source Omnisport